Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

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  • The Fertile Crescent

    The Fertile Crescent is a term for an old fertile area north, east and west of the Arabian Desert in Southwest Asia. The Mesopotamian valley and the Nile valley fall under this term even though the mountain zone around Mesopotamia is the natural zone for the transition in a historical sense.

    As a result of a number of unique geographical factors the Fertile Crescent have an impressive history of early human agricultural activity and culture. Besides the numerous archaeological sites with remains of skeletons and cultural relics the area is known primarily for its excavation sites linked to agricultural origins and development of the Neolithic era.

    It was here, in the forested mountain slopes of the periphery of this area, that agriculture originated in an ecologically restricted environment. The western zone and areas around the upper Euphrates gave growth to the first known Neolithic farming communities with small, round houses , also referred to as Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) cultures, which dates to just after 10,000 BC and include areas such as Jericho, the world’s oldest city.

    During the subsequent PPNB from 9000 BC these communities developed into larger villages with farming and animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood, with settlement in the two-story, rectangular house. Man now entered in symbiosis with grain and livestock species, with no opportunity to return to hunter – gatherer societies.

    The area west and north of the plains of the Euphrates and Tigris also saw the emergence of early complex societies in the much later Bronze Age (about 4000 BC). There is evidence of written culture and early state formation in this northern steppe area, although the written formation of the states relatively quickly shifted its center of gravity into the Mesopotamian valley and developed there. The area is therefore in very many writers been named “The Cradle of Civilization.”

    The area has experienced a series of upheavals and new formation of states. When Turkey was formed in the aftermath of the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians perpetrated by the Young Turks during the First World War it is estimated that two-thirds to three-quarters of all Armenians and Assyrians in the region died, and the Pontic Greeks was pushed to Greece.

    Israel was created out of the Ottoman Empire and the conquering of the Palestinian terretories. The existence of large Arab nation states from the Maghreb to the Levant has since represented a potential threat to Israel which should be neutralised when opportunities arise.

    This line of thinking was at the heart of David Ben Gurion’s policies in the 1950s which sought to exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims in the Lebanon for the fruits of acquiring regional influence by the dismembering the country and the possible acquisition of additional territory.

    The Christians are now being systematically targeted for genocide in Syria according to Vatican and other sources with contacts on the ground among the besieged Christian community.

    According to reports by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency collected by the Centre for the Study of Interventionism, the US-backed Free Syrian Army rebels and ever more radical spin-off factions are sacking Christian churches, shooting Christians dead in the street, broadcasting ultimatums that all Christians must be cleansed from the rebel-held villages, and even shooting priests.

    It is now time that the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians is being recognized, that the Israeli occupation, settlements and violence against the Palestinians stop, and that the various minorities in the area start to live their lifes in peace – without violence and threats from majority populations, or from the West, and then specificially from the US.

    War in the Fertile Crescent

    Everyone is free to use the text on this blog as they want. There is no copyright etc. This because knowledge is more important than rules and regulations.

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The connection between Hurri-Uartian and Indo-European

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 11, 2016

The Indo-European Elements In Hurrian

Portasar or Gobekli Tepe? Gobekle Tepe is a direct translation of Armenian “Portasar”

The HU in Other Sufi Sources

Portasar (“Mountain Navel”), the Craddle of Civilization, is located in Western Armenia, in the historic Armenian region of Urha, often referred in Turkish as Urfa or Riha. By etymology the name “Urha” is Armenian. Ar was a shorter version of Ara or Arar(ich), Creator.

The worship of Ar was wide spread amongst early Armenians who worshipped this deity and simply called him the Creator (Ara or Ararich). The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc.

The word “Hurrian” HUR comes from Armenian “fire”. AR, HAR, ER, HER, YER, HOR, KHAR, KHOR, UR, HUR, KHUR have the same meaning. The vocal can change, just the consonant keeps on. Ar, Ur, Er, Ir etc. – and a word are made by one consonant and one or two vocals, which can change their place on either side of the consonant.

The proto-history of the Hurrian language and people is shrouded with much uncertainty.But there are some indications that the presence of Hurrian people in Upper Mesopotamia isfairly ancient. Although Hurrian shares some structural features with members of the Caucasic family’s modern representatives, no convincing case for relationship between the two has been made.

Some towns in Assyria appear to have typically Hurrian names. And in one precise case, a prince of these towns has been proved to bear a Hurrian name: ‘in the year of Naram-Sîn [he] was successful at Azuhinam on his Subarean campaign and defeated [the Hurrian prince] Taišatili’.

Another clue of an ancient presence is the non-native Sumerian word tabira ‘metallurgy’, which has obvious and strong connections with the following set of Hurrian words: tab ‘to melt (metal)’, tabiri ‘metal-melter’ and tabrenni ‘(copper)smith’.

The Hurrians had a reputation in metallurgy. The Sumerians borrowed their copper terminology from the Hurrian vocabulary. Copper was traded south to Mesopotamia from the highlands of Anatolia. The Khabur Valley had a central position in the metal trade, and copper, silver and even tin were accessible from the Hurrian-dominated countries Kizzuwatna and Ishuwa situated in the Anatolian highland.

Bad-tibira, “Wall of the Copper Worker(s)”, or “Fortress of the Smiths”, identified as modern Tell al-Madineh, between Ash Shatrah and Tell as-Senkereh (ancient Larsa) in southern Iraq, was an ancient Sumerian city, which appears among antediluvian cities in the Sumerian King List.

Its Akkadian name was Dûr-gurgurri. It was also called Pantibiblos by Greek authors such as Abydenus, Apollodorus of Athens and Berossus. This may reflect another version of the city’s name, Patibira, “Canal of the Smiths”.

According to the Sumerian King List, Bad-tibira was the second city to “exercise kingship” in Sumer before the flood, following Eridu. These kings were said to be En-men-lu-ana, En-men-gal-ana and Dumuzid the Shepherd.

The early Sumerian text Inanna’s descent to the netherworld mentions the city’s temple, E-mush-kalamma. In this tale, Inanna dissuades demons from the netherworld from taking Lulal, patron of Bad-tibira, who was living in squalor.

They eventually take Dumuzid, who lived in palatial opulence at Uruk. This Dumuzid is called “the Shepherd”, who on the King List resides at Bad-Tibira in contrast to the post-diluvian Dumuzid, the Fisherman, who reigns in Uruk.

The “brotherhood text” in cuneiform inscriptions on cones plundered from the site in the 1930s records the friendship pact of Entemena, governor of Lagash, and Lugal-kinishedudu, governor of Uruk. It identifies Entemena as the builder of the temple E-mush to Inanna and Dumuzid, under his local epithet Lugal-E-mush.

Some badly effaced half-bricks on the surface of the mound bore the inscription of Amar-Sin, of the Third Dynasty of Ur. Pieces of vitrified brick scattered over the surface of the large mound bore witness to the city’s destruction by fire.

Possession of the city passed between Larsa, whose king Sin-Iddinam claims to have built the great wall of Bad-tibira, and Isin, whose king Lipit-Ishtar, “the shepherd of Nippur”, claimed to have built the “House of Righteousness” there.

This shows a lasting and widespread presence of the Hurrians in the mountains of eastern Anatolia,where the ressources, work, and trade of metals have been a major economic activity and whereHurrians are the apparently native element. Moreover Speiser also mentions that “some [Hurrian loanwords] are demonstrable in good Akkadian.”

The land of Armani-Subartu (Sumerian: Shubur) is mentioned in Bronze Age literature from the 3rd millennium BC. The name also appears as Subari in the Amarna letters, and, in the form Šbr, in Ugarit. It was apparently a polity in Upper Mesopotamia, at the upper Tigris.

Most scholars suggest that Subartu is an early name for Assyria proper on the Tigris and westward, although there are various other theories placing it sometimes a little farther to the east and/or north. Its precise location has not been identified. From the point of view of the Akkadian Empire, Subartu marked the northern geographical horizon, just as Mar.tu, Elam and Sumer marked “west”, “east” and “south”, respectively.

Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria was a Proto-Armenian Hurrian-speaking kingdom, known from Assyrian sources beginning in the 13th century BC, located in the Armenian Highland, to the southwest of Lake Van, bordering on Ararat proper. The capital was called Ubbumu. Scholars have linked the district in the area called Arme or Armani, to the name Armenia.

Weidner interpreted textual evidence to indicate that after the Hurrian king Shattuara of Mitanni was defeated by Adad-nirari I of the Middle Assyrian Empire in the early 13th century BC, he then became ruler of a reduced vassal state known as Shubria or Subartu. The name Subartu (Sumerian: Shubur) for the region is attested much earlier, from the time of the earliest Mesopotamian records (mid 3rd millennium BC).

Together with Armani-Subartu (Hurri-Mitanni), Hayasa-Azzi and other populations of the region such as the Nairi fell under Urartian (Kingdom of Ararat) rule in the 9th century BC, and their descendants, according to most scholars, later contributed to the ethnogenesis of the Armenians.

Majority and mainstream current academic opinion strongly favours that the name of Syria originates from the name Assyria. Theodor Nöldeke in 1881 gave philological support to the assumption that Syria and Assyria have the same etymology, a suggestion going back to John Selden (1617) rooted in his own Hebrew tradition about the descent of Assyrians from Jokshan.

It has been suggested that it is a derivation from Subartu (a term which most modern scholars in fact accept is itself an early name for Assyria, and which was located in northern Mesopotamia), the Hurrian toponym Śu-ri, or Ṣūr (the Phoenician name of Tyre). Syria is known as Ḫrw (Ḫuru, referring to the Hurrian occupants prior to the Aramaean invasion) in the Amarna Period Egypt, and as אֲרָם, ʾĂrām in Biblical Hebrew. J. A. Tvedtnes had suggested that the Greek Suria is loaned from Coptic, and due to a regular Coptic development of Ḫrw to *Šuri. In this case, the name would directly derive from that of the Hurrians.

A Hieroglyphic Luwian and Phoenician bilingual monumental inscription found in Çineköy, Turkey, (the Çineköy inscription) belonging to Urikki, vassal king of Que (i.e. Cilicia), dating to the eighth century BC, reference is made to the relationship between his kingdom and his Assyrian overlords. The Luwian inscription reads su-ra/i whereas the Phoenician translation reads ʾšr, i.e. ašur, which according to Robert Rollinger (2006) “settles the problem once and for all”.

Aššur is the name of the city, of the land ruled by the city, and of its tutelary deity. Aššur (Akkadian) (English: Ashur or Assyria; Assyrian: Aššur; Assyrian Neo-Aramaic: Ātûr; Hebrew: Aššûr; Arabic: Ashūr; Kurdish: Asûr), also known as Ashur, Qal’at Sherqat and Kalah Shergat, was a city in the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The remains of the city are situated on the western bank of the river Tigris, north of the confluence with the tributary Little Zab river, in modern-day Iraq. It was occupied from the mid-3rd millennium BC (c. 2600–2500 BC) to the 14th century,

Archaeology reveals the site of the city was occupied by the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. This was still the Sumerian period, before Assyria emerged in the 25th to 21st century BC. The oldest remains of the city were discovered in the foundations of the Ishtar temple, as well as at the Old Palace. In the subsequent period, the city was ruled by kings from the Akkadian Empire. During the Third Dynasty of Ur, the city was ruled by a Sumerian governor.

By the time the Neo-Sumerian Ur-III dynasty collapsed at the hands of the Elamites in ca. the 21st century BC, the local Akkadian kings, including those in Assur, had shaken off the Sumerian yoke. An Assyrian king named Ushpia who reigned in ca. the 21st century BC is credited with dedicating the first temple of the god Assur in his home city. In around 2000 BC, Puzur-Ashur I founded a new dynasty, and his successors such as Ilushuma, Erishum I and Sargon I left inscriptions regarding the building of temples to Ashur, Adad and Ishtar in the city.

Assur developed rapidly into a centre for trade, and trade routes led from the city to Anatolia, where merchants from Assur established trading colonies. These Assyrian colonies in Asia Minor were called karum, and traded mostly with tin and wool (see Kültepe). In the city of Assur, the first great temples to the city god Assur and the weather god Adad were erected. The first fortifications were also began in this period.

Eannatum of Lagash was said to have smitten Subartu or Shubur, and it was listed as a province of the empire of Lugal-Anne-Mundu; in a later era Sargon of Akkad campaigned against Subar, and his grandson Naram-Sin (also transcribed Narām-Sîn or Naram-Suen, meaning “Beloved of Sin”; reigned ca. 2254–2218 BC) listed Subar along with Armani, which has been identified with Aleppo, among the lands under his control. Ishbi-Erra of Isin and Hammurabi also claimed victories over Subar.

Naram-Sin was a ruler of the Akkadian Empire, the third successor and grandson of King Sargon of Akkad. Under Naram-Sin the empire reached its maximum strength. He was the first Mesopotamian king known to have claimed divinity for himself, taking the title “God of Akkad”, and one of the first (following the earlier Lugal-Anne-Mundu) to be called “King of the Four Quarters”.

The Sumerian mythological epic Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta lists the countries where the “languages are confused” as Subartu, Hamazi, Sumer, Uri-ki (Akkad), and the Martu land (the Amorites). Similarly, the earliest references to the “four quarters” by the kings of Akkad name Subartu as one of these quarters around Akkad, along with Martu, Elam, and Sumer. Subartu in the earliest texts seem to have been farming mountain dwellers, frequently raided for slaves.

In Wilhelm (1996:181), the parallels between the Syro-Cananean rituals and the Hurro-Hittite rituals on onehand and the deep connections between the Akkadian goddess Ištar and the Hurrian goddess Šauška on the other hand are held as strong indications that the Hurrians must have been on thespot and that they must have taken part to the construction of the Mesopotamian civilization fromthe start. A probable etymology of the goddess Šauška, attested in the Ur III period as <ša-ù-ša>, has been proposed by Wegner: this theonym means ‘the Great’, being the equivalent of thegreat goddess Ištar of the Akkadians.

Because of thediversity of the writing systems used for Hurrian, it took some time at the beginning of the 20thcentury before people realized that Hurlili, Mitannian, Subarian, and other names were in factone and the same language. The name Hurrian, with no geographic connotation, gradually became accepted to describe only the language.

Hurrian cannot be considered an Indo-European language — this is so obvious that it barely needs to be stated. Traditional Indo-European languages, such as Sanskrit, Greek, Latin,Gothic, Old Irish, Old Church Slavic, Tocharian, etc., are clearly related to each other throughmany common features and shared innovations that are lacking in Hurrian.However, that is not the end of the argument.

Hurrian is closely related to the Urartian language, which was spoken in eastern Anatolia,a little to the north and east of Hurrian, between about 850 and 600 BCE. Urartian is not adescendant of Hurrian; rather, they are sister languages, both going back to a common Hurro-Urartian parent language, probably located to the northeast of Mesopotamia in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains and dated to before the third millennium BCE.

Diakonoff concludes that “Urartean is not a late dialect of Hurrian, but a separate language derived fromone parent with the latter and in some respects preserving more archaic features than the Hurrian language.”

According to Speiser, “the [Hurrian] language has no genetic connection with the major linguistic families or branches of that area, such as Hamito-Semitic, Sumerian, and Hittite. Intype and structure Hurrian presents intricate problems of classification and analysis.”

The word aššuššanne ‘horse-trainer’ combines the Hurrian suffix -anne with an Indo-Aryan-sounding root aššušš (cf.Sanskrit áśva-‘horse’). Indeed, it was probably the Hurrians who introduced “the light horse-drawn chariot with spoked wheels, the training of horses to draw it, its use as a platform for firing the composite bow, and the development of scale-armour for men and horses to counter it”(cf. Sherratt).

In the preceding chapters, we presentedevidence that Hurrian and Proto-Indo-European “[bear] a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could have been produced by accident; so strong that no philologer could examine [them] without believing them to have sprung from some commonsource.”

Our discussion now comes to an end. In the course of this book, we have attempted toshow, through a careful analysis of the relevant phonological, morphological, and lexical data,that Urarto-Hurrian and Indo-European are, in fact, genetically related at a very deep level, as weindicated at the beginning of this chapter by quoting from the famous Third AnniversaryDiscourse (1786) of Sir William Jones. We propose that both are descended from a commonancestor, which may be called “Proto-Asianic”, to revive an old, but not forgotten, term.

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